The writer asks whether the racism shown toward First Nations people in comments on the Caledonia land claim issue would be considered acceptable if shown toward other marginalized groups.
By Letter to the Editor
Published March 01, 2011
Thanks to some recent highlighting of the Douglas Creek Estates land reclamation in Caledonia, the fiery debate has been rekindled. Given that there has been limited-to-no real progress at the negotiating table in well over a year, I would personally argue that this was a bit of a flame-fanning exercise by the Spectator's quiet newsroom.
That said, bringing this subject to the forefront certainly has its benefits. During the early, turbulent stages of the Caledonia situation, I was taken aback by such hostility within a nearby community. This spurred me to investigate deeper into what it was I was witnessing.
Being curious and, as most have seen on RTH, never one to turn down a debate, I reached out to message boards and real-life individuals affiliated with the Haudenosaunee. Well, "lashed out" might be a better descriptor.
Much to my surprise, I ended up having my eyes opened to a whole new understanding of the Haudenosaunee perspective and their relationship with Canada.
Unfortunately, I also witnessed an absolutely appalling level of overt racism within our community.
Once again, that has reared its ugly head. The comment section on any story posted on the Spectator website is simply riddled with racially charged, ignorant, hate-filled vitriol.
On one hand, I'm grossly embarrassed to be a white, proudly Canadian Hamiltonian; but on the other, I think there is also an educational benefit: a harsh dose of reality about racial insensitivity within our community.
As I've wondered in the past, is there a prevalent phenomenon that excludes First Nations people from our general expectation of racial and religious tolerance? Below are just a few samples from The Spectator's comment sections from recent days.
Mar 1, 2011 11:01 AM Wouldn't it be nice if the army could just bomb the reserve and blow them off the map?
Mar 1, 2011 10:29 AM They have a lot more than stolen cars....where do you think the "thugs" of hamilton get there guns....tons of weapons on the reserve...hidden away....I remember in the states this happened....response?..they send 5000 troops including tanks to the reserve and literally just walked in fully armed and then they all gave up....why don't we do this here?
Feb 28, 2011 11:50 PM The government should have sent the police in like they did the time before. Unfortunate that some of the natives were killed by police but that's what happens when you don't listen to the cops.
Feb 28, 2011 4:08 PM I believe I made a comment based on FACTS. Check the police blotters, how many brand new pick ups and suvs are found parted out on SN? How many people on SN work full time? How many pay taxes to which social assisstance and healthcare are paid out from?
Feb 28, 2011 4:00 PM Are they also entitled to steal pick ups from the hard working people who bought them? Paid the taxes on them? You want to reap Canadian benefits pay Canadian taxes. If not fend for yourselves!
Feb 28, 2011 9:34 AM Indigenous people Rule #1 when invading a foreign land is to rid the land of the indigenous people. This was the mistake of our forefathers in trying to make peace with these people. They obviously dont get it. Natives lost their land. May not have been right but too bad not everything that happens is right. I am sure when Natives go out and steal from people in Ancaster or rip people off downtown - they are doing the right thing? --- gimme a break - you lost ... wars over.
Regardless of your opinions on the land reclamation, do you think similar statements would be acceptable if directed toward any other groups within our community?
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